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Key Capitol Hill Hearings

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United States 33, Florida 28, Ms. Ros-lehtinen 26, Pennsylvania 19, Mr. Whitfield 17, U.s. 16, Us 16, Mr. Welch 14, New York 14, Vermont 14, Maduro 13, Minnesota 13, California 13, Mr. Engel 12, Mr. Royce 12, America 12, Mr. Shuster 10, Royce 9, Mr. Deutch 8, Ileana Ros-lehtinen 7,
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  CSPAN    Key Capitol Hill Hearings    Series/Special. Speeches from policy makers  
   and coverage from around the country. (Stereo)  

    March 4, 2014
    2:00 - 4:01pm EST  

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public lands, raises money, overseas funding from oil and other gas interests to fund schools. and also has a veterans component. those all fit perfectly for george p. bush. he is bright. he's sharp, he's articulate, he's not seriously challenged in the primary. very likely is going to win in november. his campaign is playing a keep away game basically, trying to limit his access to the media. making sort of brief campaign appearances to supportive groups where he does very, very well. he's not only a very attractive candidate, he's a very smart guy. shown some political astuteness. but stay away from any potential controversy. any questions, and my guess is it's going to be hard for me to catch up with him a whole lot on the campaign trail. >> that conversation available
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online at c-span.org. we'll break ahere, the u.s. house is gaveling in to begin their legislative work on the week. among the bills is one that would delay the national flood insurance program premium increases passed in 2012. 2012, that bill was postponed from floor consideration last week, reportedly due to the lack of support for the legislation. senate passed its own version of the bill 67-32 in january. live house coverage here on c-span. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., march 4, 2014. i hereby appoint the honorable jeff denham to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, john a. boehner, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house a communication from the sergeant at arms. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, as you
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are aware, the time previously appointed for the next meeting of the house is noon on monday, march 3, 2014. this is to notify you pursuant to clause 12-c of rule 1 of an imminent impairment of the place of reconvening at that time. the impairment is due to the weather. signed sincerely, paul d. irving, sergeant at arms. the speaker pro tempore: clause under clause 12-c of rule 1, the speaker established this time for reconvening and notifying members accordingly. the prayer will be offered by the guest chaplain, reverend harvey peters from bethlehem, pennsylvania. the chaplain: let us pray. lord god, by whose goodness we live and move and have our being, to whom we regularly swear allegiance in the pursuit of life, liberty and justice for all, we turn to you and humbly ask you to hear our prayers. we are privileged to exercise our civil freedoms and make decisions that reflect the
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higher ideals of our nation's founders and the aspirations embedded in our history. protect us from delusions or discouragement in the demanding business of governance. make us keenly aware we are not alone and beckoned or not, o god, you are always present as we discern how best to fulfill our high calling with honor. keep us mindful of your presence for those who labor on our behalf, for those who daily share the joys and burdens of our calling to public service, our families, our staff, our colleagues and the host of people who continue to pray and hope for the success of our best efforts. for them and to you, lord god, we offer our thanks today and always, amen.
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the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from minnesota, mr. walz. mr. walz: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from california, mr. peters, is recognized for one minute. mr. peters: thank you, mr. speaker. today i have the distinct honor of introducing the guest chaplain for opening prayers, my father, pastor harvey peters. he's a retired lutheran minister whose service in nearly 40-year career included stops in michigan, new jersey, new mexico, wisconsin, and all the way to california. while i was a kid he was an active leader in the movement to desegregate housing in the detroit suburbs, an effort that
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while unpopular among some of our neighbors, instilled in me and my three sisters the values of courage, integrity, and equality that i have tried to carry into my own service. while my dad ran the congregation, my mom, who is in attendance today, ran the family and worked part-time as a church secretary. it's truly an honor to welcome harvey peters, long time advocate for civil rights and the poor, community leader, and dedicated father and grandfather to the united states house of representatives today to give the opening prayer. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: thank you. the chair will entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentlelady from florida seek recognition? ms. ros-lehtinen: to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. we will finally vote on the homeowners flood insurance affordability act. times are still tough for many hardworking families, and federal agencies like fema should not be in the business of making things tougher.
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yet that is exactly what fema's callus and impractical administration of the national flood insurance program is doing. homeowners in south florida and throughout our nation cannot afford the astronomically increased insurance premiums forced on them by fema. without action to correct this agency's abuse, many family budgets that are already at the breaking point, will fall apart. although i support passage of this vital bill today to protect our families and the american dream of homeownership, we absolutely must do more to help bring premiums down. i thank the speaker for the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentlelady from connecticut seek recognition? ms. esty: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. esty: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise to honor and congratulate f.w.p. post 308 in newtown, connecticut, which
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celebrated its 75th anniversary this past sunday. since 1939, the members of post 308 have demonstrated a remarkable commitment, specific engage, and community service in everything they do. whether it's assisting tornado victims in oklahoma, or providing college scholarships to deserving high school graduates, or supporting families affected by the tragic shootings at sandy hook elementary school in their hometown the men and women of post 308 serve their community, their state, and country with distinction. i congratulate post 308 in celebrating this milestone, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from north carolina seek recognition? ms. foxx: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. today the federal register is four times larger than it was in 1970. this weekend columnist peggy
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noonian captured the feeling among everyday americans, quote, voters and taxpayers feel bullied, burdened, and jerked around which again is not new but feels more intense every day. rules, regulations, many of them stupid from all the agencies, local, state, federal on the building of a house or starting of a business. you can only employ so many before the new insurance rules kick in, so don't employ too many. don't take a chance which means don't grow, end quote. mr. speaker, there's growing inequality in this country between regulators and the regulated, between large businesses wielding government influence and smaller competitors attempting to grow. between established corporations with compliance departments and upstarts with energy and ideas. this status inequality demands our attention. last week's bipartisan passage of the unfunded mandate's transparency and information act is a good start, but much more must be done. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the chair will receive message. the messenger: mr. speaker, a
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message from the president of the united states. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: mr. secretary. the secretary: i am directed by the president of the united states to deliver to the house of representatives a message in writing. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota seek recognition? for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina eek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. wilson: mr. speaker, transitioning from military to civilian life can be challenging for our veterans. the skill sets learned while serving in the armed forces are highly valued and confidence is extraordinary of veterans who have proven work ethic. with record unemployment, we need to work together for jobs. yesterday the office of the second congressional district conducted a veterans job fair
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thoughtfully hosted by the shrine club to support our brave men and women who have faithfully served our country. the event was to better connect our veterans with the resources available to them. i'm very thankful for the local businesses, schools, government agencies, and veterans organizations were on hand to offer assistance. as the son of a veteran, as a retired member of the south carolina national guard, and being the very grateful father of four sons currently serving in the military, i appreciate our veterans' dedication to protect our freedoms. it is my hope this veterans job fair will prove beneficial and recognize the service of our heroes. in conclusion, god bless our troops, we will never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism. our hopes and prayers are for the people of ukraine. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore:, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. bilirakis: thank you, mr.
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speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of health care choices for our seniors. nearly 30% of all seniors, 15 million americans, choose medicare advantage. individuals have testified before the energy and commerce committee that medicare advantage provides better results than traditional medicare by embracing free market principles. medicare advantage focuses on preventive care, before obamacare competition in medicare advantage kept costs for beneficiaries low. and choices for plans abundant. with obamacare, choices will be reduced and costs for seniors unfortunately will increase. obamacare cuts medicare by $700 billion. medicare advantage has been successful for its enrollees. these cuts will reduce the access seniors have to medicare advantage. this is unacceptable as far as i'm concerned. medicare advantage should be
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touted. instead seniors are facing on an average of 13% rate cut in 2014 compared to 2013. we should not be penalizing seniors and reducing their access to health care to pay for others. medicare advantage -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. bilirakis: congress should protect it from being gutted by the obama administration and the affordable care act. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives. sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, i have the honor to transmit a sealed envelope received from the white house on february 28, 2014, at 2:31 p.m. and said to contain a message from the president whereby he notifies the congress he has extended a national emergency with respect to zimbabwe. declared in executive order
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13288 of march 6, 2003. signed, sincerely, karen l. haas. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will read the message. the clerk: it to the congress of the united states. section 202-d of the national emergency act, 50 u.s.c., 1622-d provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless within 90 days prior of the anniversary date of its declaration the president publishes in the federal register and transmits to the congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue through the effect beyond the anniversary date. in accordance with this provision, i have sent to the federal register for publication the included notice stating the national emergency declared in executive order 13288 of march 6, 2003, with respect to the actions and policies of certain members of the government of simbabway and other persons to undermine zimbabwe's democratic processes or institutions is to continue in effect beyond march
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6, 2014. the threat constituted by the actions and policies of certain members of the government of zimbabwe and other persons to undermine zimbabwe's democratic processes or institutions has not been resolved. these actions and policies continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the united states. for these reasons i have determined that it is necessary to continue this national emergency and to maintain in force the sanctions to respond to this threat. signed, sincerely, barack obama, the white house. february 28, 2014. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the committee on foreign affairs and ordered printed. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone further proceedings today on motions to suspend the rules on which a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered. or on which the vote incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20. recorded votes on postponed questions will be taken later.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 4076. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 4076, a bill to address shortages and interruptions in the availability of propane and other home heating fuels in the united states and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. shuster, and the gentleman from minnesota, mr. walz, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. shuster: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on h.r. 4076. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. shuster: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. speaker. i was proud to introduce h.r. 4076, the home heating emergency assistance through transportation act of 2014. this bipartisan legislation
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will provide relief for millions of americans suffering from the current propane and home heating fuel emergency. an exceptionally cold winter has increased demand for propane which heats approximately 12 million homes in the united states and for other home heating fuels. in my district nearly 9,000 rely on propane for home heating. and in pennsylvania about 200,000 do the same. supplies are expected to remain tight through the end of the winter because of the infrastructure to deliver propane to high demand areas is insufficient. on february 5, the federal motor carrier safety administration issued temporary emergency declaration to allow tank truck operators delivering propane and other home heating fuels to speed up delivery. these can last 30 days at a time creating great
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uncertainty. extreme weather conditions are not expected to subside anytime soon and threaten the lives and livelihoods of those with homes, farms and businesses that depend on heat from poe pain and other heating fuels. h.r. 4076 provides guaranteed extension of the federal motor carrier safety administration's emergency declarations until may 31 of 2014. this certainty is required to address the transportation distribution issues to give much-needed relief to the affected states. should the crisis subside prior to may 31, 2014, the secretary of transportation, in consultation of the governors of the affected states, can determine that the guaranteed extension is no longer needed. i'd like to thank the national propane gas association and the new england fuel institute for supporting this legislation, and i'll be entering their letters of support into the record. this bill has strong bipartisan support, and i urge all my colleagues to support h.r. 4076. with that i reserve the balance
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of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. walz: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. walz: i rise in support of h.r. 4076, a commonsense bill. i'd also like to thank the chairman for always striking the proper balance between safety and the smooth operation of commerce, and the gentleman explained it very clearly. for many of us, especially in rural areas of the midwest, propane is the fuel of choice for heating their homes, and to get an idea of what happened here, folks on -- regular folks on a regular budget would spend about $600 to fill up their tank during the winter. they got a refill, got a bill and saw it was over $1,900 in some cases. the shock to thems with one thing but then the situation, as the gentleman so clearly stated, was exacerbated by the inability to deliver when we needed it. and propane, while there are many factors at work here, is not like other commodities in terms of -- it's not a nice to have thing, it's a necessity.
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so the chairman's bill and this bipartisan piece of legislation addresses one of the issues here. making sure we have the trucks on the road to deliver the propane, making sure the supply is enough to start making sure these things are filled through the end of winter and doing it in a safe manner. i want to applaud the folks over at fmca that did do what they needed to do in issuing some of the waivers. but the gentleman is exactly right. a 30-day waiver is not long enough. winter is still deep in the midwest. we don't need the waiver to expire on march 15, so this piece of legislation simply does what the gentleman stated. it allows an exemption to allow for the movement of propane into the markets where it's most needed, specifically the rural midwest. these trucks are coming from texas. keep the people on the road, keep the propane trucks full. as those things start to happen and the market starts to stabilize a little bit and the price also come down, i do think the gentleman hit on a bigger point here.
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the infrastructure for the delivery of propane is something we need to look at. this is a short-term emergency measure that will address the problem this winter. we need to look further down the road on some of the long-term solutions on this. so i urge my colleagues to support this commonsense piece of legislation, support it for all the right reasons and then join together as we move forward to look at some long-term solutions. so with that i would reserve the balance of my time, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. shuster: first of all, i thank the gentleman from minnesota for his kind remarks. i appreciate it greatly and look forward to continue working with you on many other legislative endeavors. with that i'd like to yield two minutes to the gentlelady from west virginia. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from west virginia is recognized for two minutes. mrs. capito: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to thank the chairman of the house transportation and infrastructure committee for his solid work on this and bipartisan work as the gentleman from minnesota mentioned. i rise in support of the home heating emergency assistance through transportation act, h.r. 4076, which is a
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short-term commonsense measure. this long winter has really hit a lot of families in their wallet and on their budgets. a shortage of propane has made the cost of home heating even worse for many west virginians and residents in our surrounding states. more than 31,000 west virginia households rely on propane for their heating. more than 2/3 of the propane sold in west virginia is for residential use. meaning that high prices have a direct impact on our family budgets. local suppliers have been forced to short fill their customers' tanks in order to spread the limited supply of customers in need. this legislation will allow the suppliers to operate more efficiently through the spring, ensure their customers have an adequate and affordable supply of propane to get them through the rest of the winter. this bill is one of the first of five separate pieces of energy legislation the house will consider this week, all have one common thread. to make sure american families have access to affordable and reliable supplies of
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electricity and heating fuel. i urge my colleagues to support the hheatt act and the other energy bills on the floor this week and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. walz: i continue to reserve my time, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. slust just i'd like to now -- mr. shuster: i'd like to now recognize the gentleman from oklahoma, an important new member on the committee and someone that knows firsthand infrastructure because he actually builds it out there in oklahoma. so with that i yield one minute to the gentleman from oklahoma. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i thank you for this opportunity to speak on this bill. i rise today out of concerns for thousands of americans struggling to heat their homes this winter. heating costs have resulted in smaller paychecks and financial strain for individuals and organizations across oklahoma's second district. money is not going as far, especially among low-income families that find themselves
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under tight budgets. areas that are in dire need of propane to heat their homes are left out in the cold literally due to a lack of adequate infrastructure. it is critical that we pass today's hheatt act to ensure the issues with heating fuel transportation and distributions are resolved and relief is finally available. fuel costs are factors that critically impact our neighbors, our family and our friends. mr. mullin: the fact is we have a responsibility to maintain our nation's public safety. i urge my colleagues to remember your fellow american today and help pass this commonsense solution that will provide certainty and quickly address a critical need. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. walz: mr. speaker, i continue to reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. shuster: i now yield two minutes to the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. kelly. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for two minutes. mr. kelly: i thank the chairman.
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mr. speaker, i rise today in strong support of this act and it's really just common sense, is it not? and i think the best exemplifies how america handles crisises, they make adjustments. we are trying to make sure that our constituents have the ability to heat their homes during the longest winters. we don't use the term polar vortex back in pennsylvania. we call it winter. it's been a long, long winter. we're looking at the adjustment that would take place. it's just about transportation. it's about allowing these people to deliver this energy, this propane to these homes. in pennsylvania we have over 180,000 people who rely on the delivery of this product to keep their homes heated. that's not a difficult thing to understand. i think for this body to be able to just on the run, on the fly, as it were, to make sure our constituents have the ability to heat their homes. this is so fundamentally basic and just common sense. i thank the chairman for bringing it forward. it makes sense to everybody where i live as they bundle up and continue to worry when
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spring's finally going to get there. we'll training change the transportation laws in a bit just so they can get there. we're saying it let's do it to may 31. chances are by may 31 that crisis will be gone but the ability to get propane to their homes is very critical right now. i thank the chairman for what he's doing and the ranking member, we're doing that makes sense for the american citizen. i thank the speaker and yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. mr. shuster: continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania continues to reserve. the gentleman from minnesota. mr. walz: mr. speaker, i continue to reserve the balance. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. shuster: we have no more speakers so if the gentleman wants to close i'll close after that. mr. walz: thank you, mr. speaker. once again, i thank the chairman. smart piece of legislation. simple. strikes that proper balance. safety on our roads. smooth flow of commerce. and this is a matter of life and death. it has been a bitter cold winter as you heard. 23 people in minnesota have
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died as a direct result of the weather. we have 20,000 people get their heat from propane, many of them in rural areas. i've been in homes across rural minnesota and these are folks doing everything right, paying the bills, working hard. they simply, if they can afford to get the propane, that's one thing, they simply can't get the propane in some cases. this is one first step, alleviate the crisis, do it in a safe manner, get it out there, start to balance things out and then move forward. as we said again, keeping a stability in the heating oil markets, absolutely critical, and we can get this right. with that i congratulate the chairman. i thank him for bringing this, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. speaker. and, again, thank the gentleman from minnesota and his work on this. also, the original co-sponsor on this bill, mr. ryan from ohio, who is maybe stuck in the snow out there. slowed down his progress to get to washington, but he hails from eastern ohio, right on the
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pennsylvania border. i know this is going to impact his district and was glad that he and i were able to work together on this commonsense piece of legislation that is going to help hundreds of thousands of people, if not millions of people, all up and down these corridors that have a very, very difficult winter. i know looking at the weather channel or one of the weather stations in minnesota, you may need propane until the end of may with the kind of winter you've had up there. it's -- in those very, very cold, extreme weather conditions. so again, h.r. 4076 provides the ability for transportation department to extend this, to help with this crisis and as we all said here today, strong bipartisan support. so i urge all my colleagues day to vote on -- to vote on h.r. 4076, and with that, if the gentleman -- another gentleman from ohio,
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northwestern ohio, mr. latta, i recognize him for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for two minutes. mr. latta: i thank the chairman for yielding. this is a very important issue, not only to northwestern ohio but to the entire midwest. and mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 4076, the home heating emergency assistance through transportation act. this legislation will ensure the trucks carrying emergency supplies of propane can be delivered to communities most in need as fast as possible. my constituents have been at the forefront of the shortages as many rely on propane to heat their home and maintain farm operations. the face of extreme weather -- winter weather, access to heat is not a product of comfort but a requirement for survival. further frustrating is the high prices that's putting a strain on already strained budgets. customers take voluntary conservation methods. many families living in my district don't have the option
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to reducing home heat. last friday when i did get home, i had found this letter in my mailbox from a constituent i've known for my entire life. the letter is written by the wife explaining her situation. her husband, who is almost 96 years old, needs to have their home warmer this winter since he's on a blood thinner. they kept their thermostat at 69 degrees. he's been dressed with a hat, gloves, bathrobe, blankets. they have not had many pleasantent days but lived through it. another is a mother. she cannot keep their home colder even though it would save. finally a small business owner who delivers propane to customers in northwest ohio has been working day and night to find enough propane to ensure his customers can heat their homes. in cases where there's simply not enough propane, he's distributed plug-in electric heerts. these actions will keep them warm but will not help when they receive their next energy bill. these are a few examples that's
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happening throughout the midwest. the propane shortage has created a very serious crisis that is impacting the most vulnerable members of our society. h.r. 4076 is a step towards providing short-term relief to the communities, families and small business owners most in need. i thank the chairman for his leadership on this legislation, and i support the legislation and yield back. thank you very much. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 4076. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid pon the table.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass house resolution 488 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 488, resolution supporting the people of venezuela as they protest peacefully for democratic change and calling to the end of violence. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, and the gentleman from new york, mr. engel, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: i thank the speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and and to heir remarks
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include extraneous material on this measure. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. ros-lehtinen: i also ask unanimous consent to place into the record letters from me and the chairman of other house committees of jurisdiction on this bill. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you. mr. speaker, house resolution 488 signals u.s. support for the people of venezuela as they protest peacefully for democracy in the face of the violent repression and crackdown on those who express their opposition to his regime's failed policies. we must take a clear stand because the ma curea regime has responded -- madura regime has responded in a deeply undemocratic manner by forceably removing protesters attempting to silence critics by blocking media outlets and even
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authorizing the arrest of key opposition leaders. as protests have swelled throughout the country, the actions of regime forces have led to the death of at least 15 and to the unjust detention of more than 100 freedom seekers. it is incumbent upon the organization of american states, the o.s.a., to act according to the principles of its inter-american democratic charter and address this crisis of democracy. yet recent history has shown us that the secretary-general of the o.a.s. will not lead the way into this important effort. thus in the absence of his leadership, responsible nations in the hemisphere must act. they cannot remain silent. the panamanians have stepped up to the plate. they have proposed a ministerial meeting at the o.a.s., but
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regrettably, mr. speaker, that proposal has not moved forward. this resolution will send a clear message to the o.a.s. and united states the condemns these undemocratic actions. we see the plight of the people of venezuela, and we stand on their side in the struggle for democratic change. we stand together with the women for life, who march clad in white through the streets of venezuela peacefully like their companions in the struggle for freedom in cuba. we stand with the students who take to the streets demanding their release of their fellow students who have been unjustly detained only to be met with the lubs and tear gas of the henchmen. and we stand together, mr. speaker, united with the people
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of venezuela who wish to cast the yolk of repression and oppression and the influence of the castor regime which has been maduro eager to help silence the repression in venezuela because it fears it will sweep over the island of cuba. we must stand together and support those who seek freedom, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and the freedom from government abuse and government oppression. we must speak with a unified voice, mr. speaker, about the crisis of democracy in vens willa and standing in sol -- venezuela and standing in solidarity with the venezuelan people in their spirited struggle. but in the face of a determined auto contract who disregards expectations of right conduct and who was willing to use violence to impose his will on free citizens, well, mr.
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speaker, words are just not nearly enough. we must act and we must act now. we must support those who are pleading for respect, for democratic principles. for human rights in venezuela. i want to thank the chairman of our important committee, chairman royce, and my good friend also, ranking member eliot engel, for getting this measure to the floor so quickly. i also want to thank their exceptional staff, and i want to thank congressman sires and mario diaz-balart who have supported this resolution from the very beginning. mr. speaker, we have worked closely together in a bipartisan and a bicameral way, including with the state department, to ensure that this is a strong, bipartisan resolution. i urge my colleagues to support it. with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized.
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mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in strong support of h.res. 488, a resolution supporting the people of venezuela as they protest peacefully in calling for an end to recent violence. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. i first would like to recognize my good friend, the gentlewoman from flarks, ms. ros-lehtinen, for -- from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, for authoring this important resolution, also for her dedication for so many years on these important issues. it's been a pleasure working with her through the years. the eyes of the world are on venezuela. as the president and his security forces crackdown on peaceful protesters, it is an absolute tragedy that 17 people havedown killed and 261 people have been injured during recent protests throughout the country. it sounds a little bit like ukraine, doesn't it? i was particularly disturbed when the government issued an
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arrest warrant for opposition leader lopez on trumped up charges. mr. lopez turned himself in on february 18, and is currently being held at a prison at a military facility. by the way, the election that supposed -- supposedly elected mr. maduro are in question because there never was a recount. the ballots were destroyed before there could be a recount. i'm so deeply troubled by the crackdown on press freedom in venezuela. the columbian news network was recently taken off the air after it broadcast footage of the protest. journalists from cnn were also threatened with expulsion. today's resolution makes it clear that congress stands with the venezuelan people and against all acts of violence and undemocratic action. i am pleased that president obama and secretary kerry have also spoken out forcefully in condemning violence in venezuela. let me be clear, it is not just
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the united states that is taking notice of recent events in venezuela. the inter-american commission on human rights released a statement on february 14 which, i quote, expresses its concerns over the serious incidents of violence in a have taken place in the context of protests demonstrations in venezuela as well as other complaints concerning acts of censorship against media outlets and acts of alleged political persecution. unquote. last week the european parliament passed a resolution calling on the venezuelan government to release jailed opposition members and protesters and to end the violence. i hope all member states of the o.a.s., the organization for american states, will similarly call on the venezuelan government to abide by the o.a.s. convention on human rights and the inter inter-american democratic charter. finally, let me say the only way out of this crisis is through
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dialogue. our resolution makes it absolutely clear by encouraging, quote, a process of dialogue between the government of venezuela and the political opposition to end the violence. unquote. i stand with the people of venezuela in calling for an end to the senseless violence, and i urge my colleagues to support house resolution 488. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentlelady from florida is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. for the time. i would like to grant mr. diaz-balart of florida our colleague who is on the appropriations committee and has been a leader in this fight for freedom and liberty for the venezuelan people, five minutes of debate. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for five minutes. mr. diaz-balart: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i rise in strong support of this house resolution. this resolution introduced by my dear friend and one of the great leaders and champions for freedom around the world,
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congresswoman ileana ros-lehtinen. i also want to thank chairman royce, ranking member engel, speaking of the folks who believe in freedom and are always looking out for those who are repressed. over the last several weeks, mr. speaker, the people of venezuela have risen up to protest the corruption, the food shortages, the soaring crime rate, and most important of all the increased d alarming repression by the regime. in response to those legitimate protests, those peaceful protests, the venezuelan regime has ordered security forces to frankly brutally crack down on the opposition. they have since the protests began, mr. speaker, more than 500 people have been arrested. those are the ones that we could document. approximately 150 have been injured. and more that a dozen, more than a dozen have been killed.
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not only that, mr. speaker, but the regime has instituted something which should not surprise us, a virtual media blackout. they have blocked out image, trying to block out images over the internet. they have even closed down in certain parts of the country where they have had the ability to do so parts of the internet including twitter. they have thrown out independent news organizations like cnn and others. why? why are they doing this? they are doing this because the venezuelan people are fed up with the corruption. they are fed up with this. as my father would have said, this so-called decaf nated leadership. why would he have said a decaf nated dictatorship? it's one that got there arguably through democratic means that has done everything to eliminate all semblance of democracy, all semblance of human rights, all semblance of freedom of press, all semblance of the basic
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institutions of democracy. and not only that, mr. speaker, there are reports of thousands of cuban special operations forces and also intel forces that are helping the regime in the crackdown of the venezuelan people. so at a time when a lot of the so-called international community, particularly in our hemisphere, stays quiet to the reality of the venezuelan people's struggle for freedom, i am so proud of this congress, this congress, this house, that once again is standing with those who are oppressed, standing with those who are struggling for freedom. this is a house that traditionally has done. this is a house that has in a bipartisan way has done that, which is why i'm against so -- again so grateful in particular to the chairwoman, to my i would say younger but wiser sister. congresswoman ileana ros-lehtinen, to the chairman, to the ranking member for when
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others are silent, demonstrating that the united states house of representatives will not stay silent. we will continue to support the venezuelan people. we will stand with the heroic venezuelan people, those students demanding their freedom. i urge every single one of our colleagues to express solidarity with those like 100 years ago, or over 200 years ago how people in our country went out and struggled for freedom. now we see that the venezuelan young people that the students are doing the same thing. how proud of this house. how proud i am to see this house stand with those heroic venezuelan people. the heirs of bowlly var are trying and recapture their sovereigncy and democracy. with that i yield back. thank you, mr. speaker.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will provide a translation. the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. i now yield two minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. deutch. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for two minute. mr. deutch: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in strong support of house resolution 488 supporting the democratic aspirations of the people of venezuela. i'd like to thank ileana ros-lehtinen for her democratic principles. i'd like to thank chairman royce and ranking member engel for bringing this bill to the floor. i strongly condemned the violence by the maduro regime. peaceful assembly should never be met with the use of deadly force. this government has resorted to political intimidation and free media censorship to squash the voices of the people. i join my colleagues today in support of the people of
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venezuela to determine their own political future. it is their democratic right to seek government policies that put their country on a path to democratic and economic prosperity for all venezuelans. by passing this resolution, congress will send a clear message to the people of venezuela and to all those struggling around the world to achieve true democracy and freedom that we stand with you. we support your most basic democratic rights of free expression and peaceful assembly. any true democracy must be accountable to its people. we call on the maduro government to work with the people, not against them, to end the violence and to find a political resolution. this resolution, mr. speaker, makes clear to the venezuelan people and to the maduro regime that the united states stands for freedom and democracy and that the human rights of the venezuelan people matter to the american people and they must
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be defended. i urge my colleagues to support this important resolution and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentlelady from florida is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i am so pleased and honored to yield four minutes to the distinguished gentleman from california, the chairman of our foreign affairs committee, mr. royce. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for four minutes. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentlelady for yielding here. i also thank ileana ros-lehtinen, our chairman emeritus, and our ranking member, eliot engel from new york, for their work together to craft this bipartisan resolution, a resolution that is focused on supporting venezuelans, supporting their right to free expression, their right to democracy, their right yearn to the rule of law, just the most basic
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respect for human beings. in recent weeks, venezuela's been rocked by a nationwide protest against the government of the late hugo chavez's hand picked successor, niki tsongas -- nicholas maduro. as i watch -- nicolas maduro. as i watch this on cnn, student protests, as students were going through the streets explaining they were against rampant street crime and they wanted the protections of the state rather than the predatory nature of what was happening with these armed gangs. those protests have sensed evolved into a referendum on the government's status policies, their destructive economic policies, the government's near elimination of civil sew site's freedoms in venezuela. maduro's heavy-handed response, frankly, i think all of us see
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this now, has really worsened this crisis. we're in a situation now with more than a dozen venezuelans have been killed, several hundred men and women, many of them students, been wounded. even more than that have been jailed. the leading opposition figure right now is in prison. these parliamentary gangs that we talked about that are so predatory, that are -- that roam the streets and commit these crimes, now they threaten civilians who are trying to peacefully express opposition. and the president of the country has threatened to release, in his words, all of the military force of the country against those who oppose him, against the opposition. even one sitting governor who has long allied himself with hugo chavez was driven to say that the government has gone
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too far, and he took to the radio and said, i am against putting down a peaceful protest with weapons. precisely. precisely. nd that, of course, is why the international community is concerned and we're concerned here today. all of this, of course, is taking place in our own western hemisphere, just a three-hour flight from the united states. as a major energy producer positioned along drug trafficking routes, venezuela's instability harms the interests of all in the western hemisphere. venezuela, of course, once had a strong democratic tradition. we'd lining to see that democratic -- we'd like to see that democratic tradition return. we think the right of free expression is an important human right. speaking out in support of those who share this vision, as
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we're doing today i think is an important step in realizing that goal and that is why i, again, commend chairman ros-lehtinen and ranking member eliot engel for this resolution they have brought forward, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. it's my pleasure to yield three minutes to the gentlewoman from florida, ms. wasserman schultz. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida is recognized for three minutes. ms. wasserman schultz: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in strong support of house resolution 488, and i thank my south florida colleague and friend, congresswoman ileana ros-lehtinen, for her leadership and introducing this measure and giving us an opportunity to stand with the people of venezuela. i stand in solidarity with my colleagues and the people of venezuela to condemn the deplorable, horrific and inexcusable violence the maduro regime has perpetrated against
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its own citizens. brave activists have demanded freedom from an increasingly oppressive government. these are students, lawyers, average people simply asking their government to respect their basic human and democratic rights his election, president maduro's economic and political policies have driven venezuela's economy into the ground. his attempts to silence these outcries have not worked and will not work. despite jailing leading opposition voices and expelling independent media voices, the world is watching and listening and we still hear the calls loud and clear for democracy, for governance and for reform. president maduro's ridiculous accusations about united states' involvement in fomenting unrest will prove to be a grossly failed attempt to disfract from his own -- distract from his own shortcomings. we will not -- this is a clear struggle between his repressive policies and the legitimate
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demands of his own people. my town is westin is affectionately known as western venezuela. yesterday i spoke with many community leaders, many of them my friends, my neighbors, my constituents about the fears and horrors that family members and their friends are experiencing. this resolution calls upon the government of venezuela to respect the principles enshrined in its own governing documents as well as those in the intraamerica commission of rights, including freedoms of speech and press. this resolution affirms what we know to be true, that the best way to address the legitimate grievances of the people is through genuine dialogue between all parties involved. it calls for our country to work with our partners in the western hemisphere and to regional organizations to help facilitate this dialogue and importantly to do everything possible to cease this senseless violence and create the space for peace. this resolution reflects that we stand in solidarity with the people of venezuela. thank you. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back.
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the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentlelady from florida is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, this resolution can only be the first step to hold maduro and his fellow regime thugs accountable for their terrible and violent response and their abuse of the venezuelan people's liberties and human rights. i have already begun circulating a letter amongst my colleagues in the house addressed to president obama asking him to take immediate action against maduro and other venezuelan officials who are responsible for violations of their people's human rights. we are calling for the president to enact immediate sanctions against those officials, under authorities granted to him under the international emergency economic powers act, including denying them visas to enter the united states, blocking their property, freezing their assets
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in the u.s. as well as prohibiting them from making any financial transactions in the u.s. this letter already enjoys bipartisan support. i invite my colleagues to join me in signing this letter, and i hope that the president will recognize the severity of this issue and do the right thing and take these important steps. however, mr. speaker, i will file a bill this week that would force the implementation of these sanctions even if the president chooses not to use these authorities granted to him under the international emergency economic powers act. now is not the time to dither or to sit on the fence. the united states must stand up for the people of venezuela and for the american ideals of freedom, of democracy, of the rule of law, of respect for human rights. failure to hold maduro and his officials accountable would be irresponsible and a failure of leadership. but on the resolution before us today, mr. speaker, i'm
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optimistic that the u.s. house will pass my bill, expressing support for the people of venezuela as they protest peacefully for democracy. i hope that it will pass so that we can send a swift and strong message to maduro that the united states house of representatives has taken notice of the developments in venezuela and that we will not allow these transgressions to pass by quietly. with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. in closing, i hope -- i want to repeat what i said before. that i hope all member states of the organization for american states will similarly call on the venezuelan government to abide by their o.a.s. convention of human rights and the democratic charter. mr. speaker, as you see, this is a very bipartisan resolution.
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i agree with everything the gentlewoman from florida said. in fact, i agree with everything that all of the speakers on both sides of the aisle have said. the united states stands for freedom in the world, and i think it's very important that the congress of the united states speaks out loudly and clearly when people's rights are being trampled on, as is the situation in venezuela today. so, again, i want to thank my colleague, the gentlewoman from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen. i want to thank chairman royce, who once again has shown in such a bipartisan way that members of the foreign affairs committee work closely together, because both parties share a love of freedom and democracy. both parties care very much that freedom and democracy around the world takes root, and so i can think nothing more bipartisan, nothing better to do than stand up for freedom
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and democracy all over the world. and when a country has its rights trampled by the government that's supposed to protect it, it's time that we in the united states congress say enough. we're not going to sweep this under the rug. we're going to speak out loudly and forciblely against it. so again, thank you -- forcibly against it. so thank you, chairman royce and ms. ros-lehtinen. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. ros-lehtinen: i want to express our strong thanks to chairman royce, to our esteemed ranking member, mr. engel. both of them have been very present and very energized on the united states house of representatives speaking in a clear voice in favor of democracy, the rule of law, freedom and liberties being respected by the maduro regime and so far we have seen the
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opposite be true. and i want to again suggest to my colleagues that passing this resolution of solidarity with the peaceful protessors of venezuela is an important -- protestors of venezuela is an important first step and those that support this cause will follow up with my office and sign the letter to president obama asking for economic sanctions against human rights violators and also co-sponsor my bill that follows and tracks that same -- that same letter. and with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 488, as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative -- ms. ros-lehtinen: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the rules are suspended -- the gentlelady from florida is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: on that i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays
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will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. . for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move the house suspend the rules and pass house resolution 938, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. -- clerk: the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman call up h.r. 938? mr. royce: this is h.r. 938, as amended, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 938, a bill to strengthen the strategic alliance between the united states and israel and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. royce, and the gentleman from new york, mr. engel, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm going to ask that all members have five legislative
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days to revise and extend any remarks they might want to make and include any extraneous materials in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. royce: i'm also going to ask unanimous consent to place into the record letters between myself and the chairman of other house committees -- chairmen of other house committees of jurisdiction for this bill. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. royce: well, thank you, mr. speaker, and i'm going to yield myself such time as i might consume and, members, i rise in strong support of this legislation. this is the u.s.-israel strategic partnership declaration. and want to begin by thanking the gentlewoman from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, and thanking the gentleman from florida, mr. ted deutch, for their leadership in authoring this important measure. israel's strategic reality has been fundamentally transformed. as it looks to its borders and looks beyond those borders, the threats to israel are changing
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and they're growing. these threats challenge israel's qualitative military edge. and that's its ability to counter and defeat any credible, conventional military threat. and it challenges it in ways that have perhaps never been quite so daunting. myself and eliot engel and mr. ted deutch and others had an opportunity last year to travel to israel to see the effects, see the efforts by israel to counter the rocket attacks that come in from gaza by hamas. had an opportunity back during the second lebanon war, back during the war with hezbollahering -- hezbollah, to actually see the effects in august of 2006 of what was happening with rockets firing into a city on a daily basis. the city was under siege.
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there were literally 600 israelis, jewish israelis, arab israelis, jews israels, who were victims of these attacks from the communities who were in the trauma hospital and every day these rockets were rain down. now, this was not just the handy work of hezbollah. and of hamas that we saw last year. no. this was with rockets provided by iran, by iran and syria. and in the rocket attacks that i saw in 2006, those rockets, every one of them, in the cone of those rockets had 80,000 ball bearings and they would be fired on schools, on homes, on the hospital itself that was a tart. that was done to create -- target. that was done to create the maximum number of civilian casualties. well, so it is in terms of the
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challenges that israel faces, again, those challenges now because iran is supplying the weaponry. so in response to the congress -- in response, the congress continues to do everything in our power to support israel. from its security to supporting its economy. and that's the intention, mr. speaker, of this legislation that mr. ted deutch and ms. ros-lehtinen has brought before this body. it is a matter of shared values, shared experiences and shared interests between the united states and israel. and this legislation will not only expedite the provision of critical security assistance to israel and require more frequent and detailed reporting on israel's qualitative military edge, as well as a report on joint efforts to , ress the other threats asymmetric threats that israel faces, but it will also focus on expanding cooperation in
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areas of mutual interest. by supporting a range of joint activities. civil space cooperation, homeland security measures, and finally it will dramatically expand our cooperation with israel on energy production. it will link the two economies in important ways and that's why i again thank ms. ros-lehtinen and ted deutch for bringing this legislation before us. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in strong support of h.r. 938, the israel strategic partnership act, and i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd first like to thank ms. ros-lehtinen and mr. deutch, the ranking member of our subcommittee, for authoring this legislation and for working tirelessly over the past year to further refine some of the provisions. this legislation comes at a critical time in the history of
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the u.s.-israel relationship. on every border israel faces instability at best and violence and chaos at worst. syria remains engulfed in a horrific civil war that has left more than 140,000 people dead. israel's neighbors, including lebanon and egypt, are plagued by instability. iran has not yet abandoned its pursuit of nuclear weapons capability. and continues to terrorize the world with its support for violent extremism. iran is the leading supporter of terrorism around the world. and under the threat of rocket fire from gaza, israel is now considering new options under a framework for peace with palestinians and the arab world. hamas still controls the gaza strip and their disregard for human life is well known. the u.s. cannot afford to sit idly by. we must be engaged in each of these issues and support our ally, israel, the only democracy in the middle east.
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this legislation before us today is critical because it sends a clear and unmistakable message to america's foes. america stands with israel. let me repeat that. america stands with israel. now is the time to reaffirm the vital importance we place on the u.s.-israel relationship and to pursue new ways to improve our partnership at every level. let me say the relationship between the u.s. and israel is not a one-way street, it's a two-way street. we share a love for democracy, we share a love for human rights, and we share a love and derstanding that -- we share things that are so important to both countries. it's not, again, just a one-way street. it's a two-way street. there is more collaboration between the united states and israel on everything each and every day. the relationship deepens.
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the coordination deepens. coordination in terms of military, in terms of intelligence sharing, in terms of so many other things. israel is the best ally the united states has, not in the middle east, but in the world. specifically this bill will build on a robust defense cooperation, increase u.s.-israel collaboration on cybersecurity, expand u.s.-israel energy cooperation and reaffirm our commitment to israeli missile defense programs which have saved many innocent lives such as the iron dome. so i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 938 and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield three minutes to the gentlelady from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, the chairman emeritus and middle east subcommittee chair of the committee on foreign affairs and of course the author of this bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida voiced for three minutes. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you so
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much, mr. chairman. mr. speaker, congressman ted deutch and introduced the united states-israel strategic partnership act because we're committed to the security of our friend and ally in an increasingly volatile middle east. chairman royce and ranking member engel have been instrumental in getting this important bill to the house floor today. today is indeed a very significant day in the history of the relationship between the united states and israel. this bill takes the already strong bonds between our two countries and makes it even stronger. with over 350 members of congress having lent their support to this bill as co-sponsors, it is truly a bipartisan measure. this bill designates israel as a major strategic partner of the united states and extends u.s.-israeli cooperation in a variety of areas, including intelligence, homeland security , energy, science, trade and so
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forth. it supports u.s. efforts to help israel maintain its qualitative military edge over its neighbors and its foes. as israel faces even more dangerous threats than ever before, particularly now with so much uncertainty and so much violence spreading throughout the region, and as iran continues to announce advancements on its nuclear program due to this weak interim agreement, israel needs our support now more than ever. passing this bill, mr. speaker, will send a strong message to those who continue to seek to harm israel and to harm the united states. it will show the rest of the world just how seriously we value our friendship with the democratic jewish state of israel and not only because israel has been a true ally, but because we share the same ideals and the same values. at a time, mr. speaker, when there is a worryiesome movement
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to delegitimatize israel, a campaign by some to boycott, to divest from israel, now is the time to lend our unequivocal support to the democratic jewish state of israel. with anti-semitism on an alarming rise throughout the world, israel and the worldwide jewish community need to know that the united states will do everything we can to ensure israel's continued safety and security. thank you, mr. royce, for the time and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. it's now my pleasure to yield four minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. deutch. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for four minutes. mr. deutch: thank you, mr. speaker. the legislation before us today is the product of a real bipartisan commitment to the u.s.-israel relationship. i'd like to thank chairman ed
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royce and eliot engel for making this bill a priority of the house foreign affairs committee. and by ensuring its consideration on the floor here today. i'd especially like to thank and recognize my colleague, my friend, my fellow floridian, chairman emeritus of the full committee, ileana ros-lehtinen, for her leadership on this legislation. but not just for that, for her ongoing commitment to the strength of the u.s.-israel relationship and for standing up as she always does in support of people in need in every part of the world. i'm so grateful -- we're so grateful for your work. this act aims to strengthen the ties that bind our two nations and enhance cooperation in multiple ways. the legislation reflects the simple truth, a very simple truth. the u.s. relationship with israel is bound not only by mutual interests, but it is
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bound by deeply shared values. indeed, the provisions of this bill, h.r. 938, mirror the broad cooperation between the united states and israel when it comes not only to security, to trade, research, energy, and so much more. the bill was of course crafted with a heightened security risks that israel faces every day. with those heightened security risks in mind. the middle east region is as volatile as ever. and the world must know that our commitment to israel's security has never been stronger than it is at this moment. from the threat of daily rocket attacks from hezbollah, hamas and other groups that send rockets at israeli citizens, to the risk of spillover from the syrian conflict, the growing humanitarian crisis there, and to the threat of a nuclear armed iran, israel faces an array of very complex security
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challenges. recognizing these threats, the u.s.-israel strategic partnership act includes measures to ensure israel's qualitative military edge in a tough and all too often hostile neighborhood. h.r. 938 extends authority for the united states to expand our own forward deployed weapons stockpile in israel. this stockpile is critical to maintaining u.s. military readiness in the region and ensuring that our armed forces have access to the equipment they need to defend our interests at a moment's notice. this legislation also reaffirms congress' support for israel's right to self-defense by authorizing continued cooperation between the united states and the state of israel on innovative missile defense programs like the iron dome. these systems have proven remarkably successful at intercepting rockets and protecting the safety of the israeli people. but even as this bill advances the security of israel, it ultimately serves as a reminder
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to the world and a reminder to america of the depth of the united states-israel relationship. h.r. 938 highlights israel's enormous contributions to water and irrigation, agriculture, homeland security, cybersecurity, by authorizing further cooperation with the united states in these fields. it significantly expands the breadth of u.s.-israel cooperation on energy and alternative energy forms and i'd like to thank chairman upton and ranking member waxman for their work on this critical language. lastly, by affirming congress' support for israel's inclusion in the visa waiver program. despite facing enormous security challenges, our ally, israel, has thrived as an open and a free society with a vibrant economy, a strong democracy and a global
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innovator in agriculture. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. deutch: and a global innovator in agriculture, energy and countless other fields. the united states-israel strategic partnership act reflects our bipartisan commitment to a safe, to a secure and thriving jewish state of israel. i'm deeply moved by the tremendous support for israel in this congress. with more than half of the signing on this bill. why should this be a surprise? the security of the state of israel is important to our national security. a thriving economy in the state of israel. with investments made by so many american companies is important to our own economy. and most importantly, having an
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ally that shares our values, our commitment to democracy and the rule of law is something that the value of which cannot even be measured. i urge my colleagues to pass this legislation and send the world a message that our bond with israel will remain unshakeable. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. >> mr. speaker, i'm going to yield two minutes to the gentleman from georgia, mr. collins, an esteemed member of our committee but also one that's been extremely focused ensuring's israel's qualitative, military edge. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for two minutes. mr. collins: mr. speaker, i appreciate the opportunity and of course you and the ranking member has always been supportive of me and i do appreciate that a great deal as we work toward these issues. i rise in support of h.r. 938, the united states-israel
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strategic partnership act of 2014. this enhances the historic and vital relationship between the united states and israel. ensuring a strong israel should be a priority of this body and this administration. recently this body passed h.r. 1992, bipartisan legislation that i introduced, along with congressman snyder out of illinois, to modify q.m.e. reports. i am pleased that h.r. 1992 was also included in this strategic partnership act. specifically, h.r. 1992 shortens the review time of u.s. weapons sales to israel's neighbors from four years to two years. in addition, this takes -- asks the administration to determine how much of a threat asmetic and cyberwarfare are to the security. anyone can look within the last four years how much has changed surrounding our friend israel. it's important we take and lower this time frame so we're constantly making sure they have a qualitative military edge. this is of vital importance and
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the administration ought to come and be part of this -- this strategic partnership act ensures that along with 1992. it has robust cybersecurity cooperation, tourism between the two nations and extension of the u.s.-israeli energy cooperation. peace between israel and its neighbors is something that's long been sought after. i am pleased that h.r. 1938 highlights israel's missile defense system, the iron dome. it gives the ability to protect its citizens and prevent military escalation. with this i want to thank the really incredible work of chairman emeritus, ileana ros-lehtinen, and mr. deutch in writing this legislation and being such avid sponsors and proponents of our relationship with us and israel. h.r. 938 is an important step and i ask my colleagues to support its support and -- to
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continue its support and vote yes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: i thank you, mr. speaker. in closing, let me again say this is another example of bipartisan cooperation on the foreign affairs committee. i want to again thank chairman royce for being such a great partner in ensuring important legislation like this passes our foreign affairs committee and the floor of the house in a very bipartisan way. i'm proud to support this resolution. it reaffirms our mutually beneficial relationship with our friend, the jewish state of israel at a critically important time. i want to again thank my colleagues, the gentlewoman from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, and the gentleman from florida, mr. deutch, for supporting this legislation. i ask my colleagues to support this and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm going to yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: when we're speaking of this issue, i think members should reflect that we're speaking of an israel that aces from a regime in iran that actually speaks of wiping israel off of the map, a regime in iran that seeks to acquire a nuclear weapons capability and the missiles to deliver nuclear weapons, a regime there in iran that has a proxy called hezbollah. remember a deputy secretary of state calling that organization the a-team of terrorism in the world, hezbollah, and hezbollah's greatly expanding its size and its influence and it's doing so not only in lebanon but in syria, which neighbors israel.
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it's an portion -- it's an organization that's probably pointing some 70,000 rockets by now, they're aimed at israel's population centers. we think of an israel challenged by the proliferation of al qaeda-affiliated organizations throughout that region. we think of the ongoing threats rom hamas to the south and the palestinian islamic jihad. those are severe challenges. but israel also has never been as strong as it is now. think of israel's economic dynamic entrepreneurial culture there. for those that have been to tel aviv, it is inspiring, it is unbelievable, the entrepreneurial spirit, the innovative culture. and so you get a better sense of why israel is so strong but
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also a sense of why the bond between the united states and israel is so great. it is that dynamic economy and society that are building blocks for israel's qualitative military edge and its relationship with the united states. and the benefits that we get from u.s.-israel relationships, like the development of the iron dome is very strong. i think that was probably built for 10% the price or cost, and now all of our allies are interested in acquiring that, that iron dome. and at the same time when you think about the iron dome, you think of something we in the united states thought was impossible to development. but israel engineers did so. mr. speaker, this legislation today stands by our values, stands by our interests and it stands by our ally israel.
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it is legislation all members of the house should support. thank you very much, mr. speaker. and seeing no additional speakers, i'm going to yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 9 -- has the bill h.r. 938, as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed -- mr. royce: with that i am going to request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this otion will be postponed.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2126, the energy fisheds improvement act of 2014, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 2126, a bill to facilitate better linement, cooperation and best practices between commercial, real estate landlords and tenants regarding energy efficiency in buildings and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from kentucky, mr. whitfield, and the gentleman from vermont, mr. welch, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from kentucky. mr. whitfield: thank you. and i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and insert heir remarks and
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extraneous materials in the record on the bill. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. whitfield: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. whitfield: the benefits of energy efficiency are something that both republicans and democrats agree on as evidence by the modest but robust package we are considering today. reducing waste and consuming less energy are commonsense strategies to cut costs and address u.s. energy demand. i want to thank mr. welch and mr. mckinley for their leadership on this energy efficiency bill. both they and their staffs have worked very hard on this legislation, as has the committee staff, both democrat and republican. the u.s. has steadily improved its energy productivity as a result of advances in technology, driven primarily by the private sector innovation.
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in particular, the industrial and manufacturing sectors have undertaken significant efforts to improve efficiency and reaped the resulting economic benefits. the energy efficiency improvement act of 2014 supports these ongoing efforts by spurring the use of energy efficiency technologies and processes in the commercial and industrial and public sectors of our economy. the legislation saves consumers money through lowered energy consumption, helps create jobs, makes our country more energy independent and will produce associated environmental benefits. critically, this bill will make the country's largest energy user, the federal government, more efficient, thereby saving taxpayer money. i'm delighted that we have this bill on the floor today, and i look forwarded to working with members of the body to make sure we pass this legislation, and i would urge their support
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and i would retain the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from vermont is recognized. mr. welch: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. welch: thank you very much, mr. speaker. chairman upton, chairman whitfield and ranking members waxman and rush, all of you for working with us to move this bipartisan legislation today. mr. whitfield, i want to particularly thank you for your leadership on the subcommittee. and thank you to my colleague, david mckinley, for partnering with me on this issue. mr. mckinley has an extraordinary background as an engineer and small business owner, real practical knowledge that has been extremely helpful and he's brought invaluable expertise to our committee. i'm grateful to him, this whole body should be grateful for his partnership. this bill today has good ideas advanced by members of congress, representatives eshoo, rogers, matheson, latta
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and castor and thank all of them for their leadership on this issue. and lastly, i want to thank house leaders, especially majority leader cantor. he and his staff, steve, have been enormously cooperative in dealing with some of the thorny problems that arise whenever there's a complicated piece of legislation to be considered. so thank you. like mr. whitfield, i have long believed that energy efficiency is an area where we have common ground in what is too often a very divided congress. mr. whitfield, i thank you for focusing on that common ground. why is it so good? because saving energy does three things. it creates jobs. all of the energy efficiency labor is done by local folks who need work. manufacturing jobs. because 90% of the materials used in energy efficiency are manufactured in this country. it saves money and it improves
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the environment. so we can and do disagree in this congress on the causes of climate change and the best fuel mix to meet america's energy demands, but we can all agree that less is more. whatever your fuel source, if you use less you save money, and that's good for all of us concerned. we can also agree that creating demand for american-made energy efficient products will also create good jobs, and energy efficiency, cheapest fuel, requires, as i said, labor and manufactured goods that are made in america. and we can also all agree that cutting the energy bills of homeowners, businesses and the federal government and therefore the taxpayer is a very good thing. . mr. speaker, the vermont that a i represent has long been a leader in energy efficiency. my home state was the first to set up what was called an energy efficiency utility.
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that utility, efficiency vermont, has done outstanding work for the past 20 years. basically what it acknowledges and understands is that a kilowatt saved is a cost avoided. last year alone efficiency vermont's work yieldled -- yielded a lifetime customer savings of $206 million for our small state in vermont. the energy efficiency improvement act is an important first step in making america more energy efficient. it includes the better buildings act, which will drive private sector innovation and energy efficiency. and by the way, this is a public-private partnership. it's not an arrangement, it requires good policy at federal level with cooperation and opportunity-seizing at the private level. homes and buildings consume 40% of our energy in the united states. it's really huge.
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and commercial buildings, onerous -- owners report that ten abilities consume up to 50% -- tenants consume up to 50% or more of the total energy output. one of the challenges that faces our commercial building ownings and developers has been the issue of split incentives. building owners and renters are not always on the same page when it comes to energy performance. part of the problem is that only one party is paying the energy bill. but the other part of the problem is that while we recognize energy efficient buildings through the energy star program, we have no similar recognition, program, for tenant spaces. our bill creates a voluntary tenant star recognition program for separate spaces in commercial buildings. when we combine energy star buildings with tenant star rentals, we can optimize energy efficiency and shorten payback
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periods. a good example of this can be found in energy star certified vermont innovation center located in birlington, vermont. office ration has its in that building. and veic took aggressive action to optimize the efficiency of its tenant space within the building. it converted the overhead lighting to highly efficient l.e.d.'s and applied six inches of spray foam insulation to the exterior walls. making these improvements in an energy star building optimized -- optimized an lrt efficient tenant space but veic expects to save $11,000 a year in energy savings. where i come from that's real money. however, there's no recognition program for these improvements and we don't know what else veic could be doing to increase energy savings. under this bill, we'll study
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the best ways to optimize commercial tenant spaces and then recognize those spaces with a new tenant star label. by combining energy efficient tenant buildouts with energy star buildings, we'll double down on a successful program and optimize energy savings in commercial buildings. in addition to tenant star, this legislation includes three other important energy provisions and, again, i thank mr. wit field for your leadership -- whitfield for your leadership. first, it's going to increase the energy efficiency of federal government data centers. they are huge energy consumers. data centers are used -- use massive amounts of energy and this legislation will finally begin to address the enormous federal energy bill for those facilities. second, this bill addresses the serious regulatory problem involving large scale water
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heaters. you know, sometimes we have an argument back and forth about regulations. what i love about this bill, among other things, is we're fixing a problem. we're not just fighting about it. it's going to make needed changes to energy efficiency standards for large water heaters that rused in demand response programs. these water heaters act as residential energy storage devices and allow utilities to curb energy demand during peak hours. so we're giving some of our rural electric cooperatives tools they need to keep the costs down, energy demand down. and finally, the bill will disclose the amount of energy consumed in federally leased buildings and begin benchmarking these buildings. the energy efficiency improvement act comprised of these four components is an important first step towards energy efficiency, but more work remains. in the coming weeks, i look forward to working with my colleagues to pass the
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mckinley-welch-shah recent-portman legislation which will establish a national model building code. we also need to pass legislation to encourage performance contracting in federal buildings and to streamline the federal green schools project. energy efficiency is a bipartisan issue. and i'm extremely encouraged by the steps we're taking today. i look forward to working with the chairman, ranking member, and house leaders to bring more bills to the floor in the coming weeks. ainled encourage my colleagues to -- and i encourage my colleagues to support this legislation and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. wit when i i want -- mr. wittman: i want to thank -- wit wit i want to thank -- mr. whitfield: i want to thank the gentleman for his remarks. at this time i would yield mr. upton as much time. as he may consume.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. upton: thank you, mr. speaker. today we do continue our pursuit of a true all of the above energy policy, as the house considers h.r. 2126, the energy efficiency improvement act. and i am very pleased that this bill combines four individual bipartisan proposals developed by members of the energy and commerce committee. you know, energy efficiency measures are some of the simplest and most affordable methods to address u.s. energy demand and lower costs. but significant energy efficiency opportunities and challenges certainly remain. this legislative package helps embrace these opportunities and meet many challenges to advance u.s. energy goals. using a voluntary market-driven approach, this bipartisan legislation will help harness new technologies and support private sector innovation to develop more efficient ways of utilizing energy. h.r. 2126 also seeks to improve federal energy efficiency, a
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critical initiative given that the federal government is the nation's largest user of energy. utilizing energy saving techniques can significantly reduce the amount of u.s. taxpayer dollars spent on federal energy costs. mr. speaker, when it comes to energy -- american energy, everything needs to be on the table. coal, nuclear, natural gas, hydro, wind, solar, you name it. and, yes, improving the energy efficiency is an important part of the all-of-the-above equation. the passage of this important energy efficiency bill will help us as we continue to work together on a bipartisan basis in the coming months and years to tackle the many energy challenges facing the nation. we have a lot of work to do. you know, basically what this bill does is takes four individual bills that we had. one led really by the really good work, by mr. welch and and
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mr. mckinley, to establish a tenant star program, to voluntary certify within energy star to promote energy efficiency. t takes a whitfield bill to -- on grid-enabled water heaters. i commend mrs. etchee and -- ms. eshoo and mike rogers, to have more energy efficient savings technologies in a major way to help us. and it takes a castor bill on energy efficient for commerce buildings. you know, together many of us sat down with then chairman of the senate energy economy, mr. widen, about a -- committee, mr. widen, about a year ago on things that we could work on together and we've proved it with this legislation. these bills had unanimous support within our committee. we worked together and
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ultimately it's going to help the american consumers, the federal government, again, the largest user of electricity, and shows that we can get things done. so mr. welch, ms. eshoo, mr. mckinley, mr. whitfield, what i like to call the good mike rogers, we have two, but actually they're both good, mike rodgers from michigan, ms. castor, but also mr. waxman's staff too. i know that he wishes he was on the floor. together we really did get this thinged out in a way that the american public would be certainly very proud of and i would hope, i know that we've lost mr. widen, he's moved to another committee, but i would hope that a strong vote this afternoon would send a pretty good message to the senate that in fact they can embrace these bills. i know that the majority leader a week or two ago said something along the lines, if he wanted to pick a number of issues we could work on together and get them out of the way and debt them to the president's desk, these are pretty good bills.
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i'd like to think that the new leadership there in the senate energy committee could simply move these bills from the desk, once we pass them, and get them to the president's desk in an expeditious way. so i want to conclude, i want to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for developing this legislation that in fact we're supporting. i would encourage all of my colleagues to stand up for an all of the above energy policy and support passage of the energy efficiency improvement act and yield the baffle my time back to the distinguished chairman. mr. whitfield: i reserve that time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from vermont is recognized. mr. welch: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield three minutes to the member from california, ms. eshoo. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognized for three minutes. ms. eshoo: thank you, mr. speaker. and i thank the gentleman for yielding. my friend and my colleague. and i thank him for the work that he's done, as well well as mr. whitfield, our staffs on both sides of the aisle, mr.
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mckinley, ms. castor. it feels good to come to the floor to speak to a package of bills that are bipartisan, that are really going to produce something for our country and help move us forward. so i'm proud to rise today in support of the package of these four bipartisan energy efficiency bills because they are going to save taxpayer dollars, very important. they're going to save money for us as well. itle 3 of this legislation holds a bill that i authored with congressman mike rogers of michigan, to make the federal government's i.t. and data centers more energy efficient. we've been on this for a long time. by requiring federal agencies to utilize the best technologies and energy management strategies, our legislation will reduce the federal government's energy
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use, save taxpayer dollars and set the standard very importantly for the private sector. while we now routinely hear a lot about data centers, actually that was not the case when we started out examining this issue a decade ago. back then i had to explain to colleagues what a data center was. today just about everyone understands that data centers are a critical part of our national infrastructure and are found in nearly every sector of our economy. in 2005 i authored language in the energy policy act that mandated the -- that the e.p.a. create a study relative to energy use and energy costs of data centers. the report was transmitted to congress in 2007 and it served as a driver of both private and public investment in energy efficiency.
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based on a widespread agreement across the government, industry and academia, the bill before us today requires an update to that 2007 report. data centers can be extremely energy inefficient. experts estimate that most data centers could slash their energy use by 80% to 90%. i mean, that really takes our collective breath away. so there are enormous opportunities in this. by simply implementing existing technologies and best practices. so we can do this. we can get this done. while several companies in my silicon valley district have taken the lead in developing efficient, sustainable data centers, we can do much better across the private sector and the federal government. the federal government is the nation's largest landowner, employer -- may i have one more minute? mr. welch: yes.
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an additional minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for an additional minute. ms. eshoo: i thank the gentleman. the federal government is the nation's largest landowner, largest employer and largest energy user. and so we should lead by example in improving the energy efficiency of our own data centers within the federal government. so the bill that mr. rogers and i have imbedded in this package requires federal agencies to do some really rather simple things that are going to lead to terrific outcomes. they need to develop lands to use more energy efficient technologies and best practices and require periodic evaluation of federal data centers for energy efficiency. i want to thank chairman upton, ranking member waxman, the staffs on both sides of the aisle, part of this bipartisan package and i also want to salute paul beck who serves on
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my staff in my office who has really been the wind beneath the sails of this bill. he has lived and breathed efficiency in data centers day in and day out. so with that, mr. speaker, i yield the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. whitfield: at this time it's my pleasure to yield to the gentleman from west virginia, mr. mckinley, who is the author of title 1 of this legislation, a period of four minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from west virginia is recognized for four minutes. mr. mckinley: thank you, mr. speaker, mr. whitfield. i rise in support of h.r. 2126. while there are many differing views mother congress, there is one common ground and that is energy efficiency. finding ways to use energy more efficiently is simply common sense.
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this legislation will provide this country with a market-driven voluntary best practice approach to reduce energy consumption. it's an area where republicans and democrats can work together efficiently. that's why peter welch and i have developed a wonderful working relationship and developed an issue on energy that crosses this and other pieces of legislation. it's one of just two engineers -- as one of just two engineers in congress and spent nearly 50 years in the construction industry, i understand what steps we need to take to make our buildings more efficient. that's why we brought together a broad coalition of support for this legislation, supported by everyone from manufacturers, restaurants, contractors, labor, environmental groups. even the gaming industry is supporting this legislation. it's estimated to lower energy costs by over $2 billion and reduce carbon emissions by nearly 12 million tons.
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it helps move our nation closer to energy independence. i'd like to thank chairman upton and ranking member waxman for allowing this bipartisan bill to come to the floor and for congressman whitfield for helping out on all the legislation as well as mr. welch. engineers know how to make buildings operate more efficiently. maybe our next step would be to make congress run more efficiently. i urge all my colleagues to support this bipartisan legislation. thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from vermont is recognized. mr. welch: thank you, mr. speaker. it's going to take a lot more engineers to get this place operating a lot better, but this was a step and mr. whitfield wasn't here when i was bragging on him, mr. speaker. he has the practical knowledge from his years of experience in construction and that
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engineering background but, you know, here's the other thing. there is a big debate about carbon emissions. i happen to be someone who thinks it's a very, very serious problem, but if we -- even under the waxman-markey bill, which passed the house and then did not pass the senate, with the goal of reduction of 80% of carbon emissions by 2050, 40% were going to be achieved toward energy efficiency. so this is a really big deal. there are questions about a lot of things on energy policy, but where we do have this common ground with significant leadership on both sides of the aisle that energy efficiency is an approach that really makes sense, then we can and should do it. so i'm very grateful to all concerned in pulling together to take the first really solid step towards embracing energy efficiency -- an energy efficiency agenda as part of an
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all-of-the-above energy efficient agenda. i yield two minutes to the gentleman from connecticut, mr. himes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from connecticut is recognized for two minutes. mr. himes: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise briefly just to salute the leadership of representative mckinley and my good friend from vermont, peter welch, for a bill which does some spectacular things. specifically, it really enshrines the idea that the cheapest and cleanest energy that we have is that energy we can -- we conserve and don't use, that we save for the future. i draw on my history of building affordable housing in a green fashion is a real win-win. it means people are paying lower utility bills if they use the methods encouraged by this bill. it means we are using less carbon in the atmosphere. this comes recently in connecticut where we have experienced in the last several years climate problems unlike
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any we have ever seen and of course we're doing the right thing by the future. this is also a -- in a challenging time for this chamber a remarkable example of democrats and republicans working together to achieve something that will benefit not just the people in this chamber but will benefit the country and future generations. this is something we should build on. there is so much more we can do with respect to reconfiguring our economy and our industry and our residences so that they are clean and driven by cheap, sustainible american energy. so mr. speaker, i close now just as i opened by thanking representative mckinley and representative welch for their tremendous leadership and say i look very much in supporting this bill later on. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from vermont reserves. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. whitfield: mr. speaker, we
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do not have any more speakers, so i would reserve the balance of my time if the gentleman wants to proceed. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from vermont is recognized. mr. welch: how much time do we have? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 4 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. welch: i'll just close briefly. i don't believe we have any more speakers. in are two things here. the wisdom of an energy efficiency policy, less is more, and whether you're consuming oil or solar, if you use less you're going to save money. it's good for the bottom line. second, any energy efficiency means that we are going to keep in the ground for further -- future use any other fuels we may need down the road. third, any energy efficiency requires implementation of energy efficiency retrofits. that's local labor, good jobs, in the use of locally manufactured products. and then fourth, energy efficiency means that we do not have to build more generating
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capacity in order to generate. that saves money. and fifth, what it does is it cuts down in carbon emissions. it's all a really good thing. then finally, speakers referred to congress. we all know we have our challenges here. it's a function to some extent of real debates among the american people that we reflect, to some extent we can't get out of our own way with our rules, but what we know is at the end of the day this institution has to be a problem-solving institution that works for the american people. and what we've done here with mr. upton and mr. whitfield being the leaders with the responsible positions is focus on areas where we agree and they're meaningful areas. it's not a split the difference type of deal where we've just shaved so much off that it really is not significant. what we've done is put aside areas where we have real disagreement, having reached consensus and then double down
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on theever efficiency where there is common ground. we've taken good ideas, offered by whether a republican or democrat, and we've kept this legislation be about a policy that's going to work for the american people. we haven't turned either side into a political christmas tree that allows us to make some extreenyuss points. in -- extraneous points. i was very heartened in congress that we had a budget agreement that was reached by paul ryan in the house and senator murray in the senate. i was happy we had an appropriations bill that did reflect a lot of give and take on both sides. i was very pleased we had a farm bill. again, lots of things to debate in the farm bill but we need a five-year farm bill for the people peem. ly in energy, we final passed things on both sides because it's important policy that's going to be beneficial to the bottom line to the american people. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back.
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the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. whitfield: well, i would like to add on the words of the gentleman from vermont first of all once again just to say how much we enjoyed working with him and the others on this important legislation. we do firmly believe that the american people will benefit from this. we all recognize that energy is one of the components that goes a long way in determining how competitive america can be in the global marketplace. and anytime you can improve efficiency you improve that competitiveness. so i would urge all of our members to support h.r. 2126, the energy efficiency improvement act of 2014, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 2126, as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative -- mr. welch: mr. speaker, on this i request a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: does
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the gentleman ask for the yeas and nays? mr. welch: the yeas and nays, yes. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this otion will be postponed. the chair lays before the house a message. the clerk: the budget message of the president. to the congress of the united states, after five years of grit and determined effort, the united states is better positioned for the 21st century than any other nation on earth. we have created more than eight million new jobs in the last four years and now have the lowest unemployment rate in over five years. our housing market is now rebounding, our manufacturing sector is adding jobs for the
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first time since 1990. we now produce more oil at home than we buy from the rest of the world. we have cut our deficits by more than half since i took office. and for the first time in over a decade business leaders around the world have declared that china's no longer the world's number one place to invest. america is. we have made great progress, but we must do more to rebuild our economy and new foundation for growth and prosperity. i believe that what unites the people of this nation, regardless of race or region or party, young or old, rich or poor, is the simple profound belief in opportunity for all. the notion that if you work hard and take responsibility you can get ahead. that belief has suffered some serious blows. over more than three decades, even before the great recession hit, massive shifts in technology and global competition have eliminated good middle-class jobs and weakened the economic foundations that families depend on.
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today after four years of economic growth, corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher and those at the top have never done better. but average wages have barely budget. inequality has deepened, upward mobility remains stalled. even in the midst of recovery too many americans are working more than ever just to get by, let alone get ahead, and too many still are not working at all. our job is to reverse these trends. we need to return to an america where our success depends not on accident of birth but on the strength of our work ethic and the scope of our dreams. that is what drew our for bearers here. opportunity is who we are and the defining projects of our generation is to restore that promise. it will not happen right away, but we must continue to strive toward that goal. what i offer in this budget is set in concrete. practical proposals to speed up
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growth, strengthen the middle class and build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class, all while continuing to improve the nation's longest run physical position. earlier this year, thanks to the work of democrats and republicans, the congress produced an agreement that undid some of last year's severe cuts to priorities like education and research, infrastructure and national security, recognizing the importance of that bipartisan compromise, the budget adheres to the spending levels agreed to by congress for fiscal year 2015. but there's clearly much more we can and should do to invest in areas like infrastructure, innovation and education that will create jobs, economic growth and opportunity. so i am including in my budget a fully paid for opportunity, growth and security initiative that provides the congress a road map for how and where additional investments should be made in both domestic priorities and national
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security this year. we we know where to start. with the economy picking up speed, companies say they intend to hire more people this year and over half of big manufacturers say they are thinking of insourcing jobs from abroad. we need to make that decision easier for more companies. both democrats and republicans have argued that the task code -- tax code is riddled with complicate loopholes that make it harder to invest here and encourage companies to keep profits abroad. last summer i offered a proposed -- proposal to couple business tax reform with critical investments in infrastructure. this budget includes that proposal using the transition revenue that will result from a shift to a simpler, more efficient tax code to create rebounding -- jobs rebounding, our roads and bridges and unclogging our communities. because in today's global